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Country rail upgrades right on track

The railways in NSW act as vital arteries for regional towns, shipping agricultural commodities from paddock to port. Reliable freight networks help keep trucks off the roads and ensures that produce, whether grain, cotton or cattle, gets to its destination quickly and easily.

In a major boost for the NSW rail freight network, the State Government has announced $15 million to fund 10 projects aimed at kick-starting improvements to rail infrastructure.

Minister for Freight Duncan Gay announced the funding in Young, which will benefit from a $5 million investment to reopen the 56 kilometre stretch from Maimuru to Demondrille.

“The freight transport network is the backbone of country NSW and we need to improve its efficiency to take more freight off our local and regional roads – a massive win for regional communities, economies and the state’s producers,” Duncan said.

$14 million will be invested in six projects to receive Fixing Country Rail pilot funding:

  • $5 million towards the reinstatement of the Maimuru to Demondrille railway line
  • $3 million for rail siding extension at Hillston to help service a major grain receival site
  • $2 million for the reinstatement of a 2.8 kilometre section of the Moree to Inverell railway line at Moree
  • $1.5 million for rail siding extension at Barellan to help service a major grain receival site
  • $1.5 million for rail siding extension at Burren Junction to help service a major grain receival site
  • $1 million for upgrading rail siding at the Canberra Railway Freight Terminal (Fyshwick)

A further $1 million will be invested in detailed planning and design of additions to tracks at Shellharbour, Unanderra, Tarago and the reinstatement of the line from West Tamworth to Westdale.

Since March 2011, the NSW Government has invested more than $1 billion in the operation, maintenance and upgrading of the Country Regional Network, which is comprised of 2,386 kilometres of operational railway lines.

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